Tuesday, August 12, 2008

just can't win

Some of the factories around Beijing that the Chinese government shut down in order to reduce pollution (an effort that seems to have fallen significantly short of achieving its goal, judging by the murky air seen during the cycling events) were producing chemicals used to produce drugs in India. According to the BBC, this has caused all sorts of problems:
[The shutdown of the factories] has led to a shortage of raw materials, which has pushed up prices everywhere.

"It's not that all the materials used to come from China," he says.

"But because China has stopped, there's pressure on materials coming from Taiwan, Korea, Europe. And everyone's taking a little bit advantage and jacking up their prices."

And if things go on like this, well, don't get sick in India:

J S Shinde, head of the Maharashtra State Chemists & Druggists Association, thinks that manufacturers will simply stop making the drugs that are not profitable and that a shortage of medicines could well be on the cards.

"If the prices of the raw materials for controlled drugs rises any further, there's a chance that the production of such drugs will simply stop," he says.

"I think it's highly likely that after September there'll be shortages of those drugs in India."

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